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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

ETYMOLOGY OF LOCAL HAlffiS.                                     347
named Hriga, Krimi5 I^ava, Suvrata and Sivi; of whom Fava reigned over
Sfavarashtram ; Krimi over Kumila-pnri; Sivif who is said to Be the author of
one of the hymns of the Big Veda (X. 179), over the Sivayas5 and Kriga over
the Yandheyas. In the MaMbharat the Usinaras are said to be a lower race
of Kshatriyas. They are mentioned hy Panini in a connection which seems
to Imply that they were settled in or near the Panjah ; and in the Aitareya
Brahmana, Usinara is collocated with Kuril and Panchak. Agaizij Drishad-
vati, the fifth of Usinara's wives, recalls to mind the unknown river of the
same name, which is mentioned hy Mann as one of the boundaries of Brah-
marartaj and in the "Mahabharat as the southern boundary of Kurakshetra.
From all this it may be inferrred that the Navaiashtra, over which Usinara's
third son Nava reigned? cannot have been far distant from Mathura and
Gurganw; and its capital may well have been the very place which still bears
his name under the corrupt form of Noli or Xanh,
The second subdivision of class III. is of an extremely miscellaneous
character and admits of no grouping, each name having a separate individuality
of its own. Some of the more obvious examples have been already quoted:
such as are Basai, f a colony;' for the Sanskrit vasazi (which at the present day
is more commonly abbreviated by the alternative mode into basti); Chankij f an
outpost* on the G-urgunw road ; Nagariya, ca small hamlet f Barha^ f a
removal;' Garhi, ' a fort;* Mai, tf an estate;' Khor,  an opening* between the
Barsana hfflsj Anyor? Hhe other end5 of the Gobardhan range; Para, *a
town;* Kheriya? ca hill;' and Toli, 4an allotment,* Others require more
detailed explanation on account either of their intrinsic difficulty, or of the
mythological disguise put upon them by the local pandits, who think there is no
place in the whole of Braj which does not contain some allusion to Krishna.
Thus they connect the word Mathurd with the god*s title of Madhu-mathan ;
though the more natural derivation is from the root nioi/f direct, in its primary sense
of * churning ;5 an exact grammatical parallel being found in the word c bhMnm9
breakable/ a derivative from the root bhid, to Break/ The name thns interpreted
is singularly appropriate ; for Mathara has always been celebrated for its wide
extent of pasture-land and many herds of cattle, and ia ail poetical descriptions of
the local scenery L ihe clinm1 is introduced as a prominent feature. I observe that
Dr. BajendraEla Mitra ia a learned article oa the Yavaoas, published in the
Calcutta Asiatic Society's Journal^ has incidentally remarked upon a passage in
the Santi Parva of the Mah4bharat3 in whiclz the word Madlmra occurs, that
this is the ancient form of Mailmra. Now I should hesitate to dispute any state-
ment deliberately made By m eminent a scholar, but ibis appears to be a mere